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Dual Turbo Charged ALTUS Completes Maiden Flight

Dual Turbo Charged ALTUS Completes Maiden Flight

San Diego, California -- (GA-ASI) July 1, 1998 -- General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), a leading manufacturer of unmanned aircraft surveillance systems, announced today that the ALTUS II high altitude unmanned aircraft configured with a new dual turbo charged engine, successfully completed its first flight on Monday, June 29th. Reaching a maximum altitude of 7,500 feet, ALTUS II flew for approximately 30 minutes where routine system and engine checks were conducted. The flight was a complete success.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. Courtesy Photo

Originally configured to conduct atmospheric research at altitudes up to 45,000 feet, ALTUS II has been reconfigured with a Rotax engine equipped with two new Thermo Mechanical Systems turbo chargers to increase altitude capabilities. During the next week, ALTUS II will be reconfigured with an 84" propeller. A second flight with this larger propeller is scheduled for later this week.

Under the Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) Program, led by the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., GA-ASI will demonstrate capabilities of ALTUS II to reach record high altitudes of up to 65,000 feet later this summer. The NASA Dryden Flight Research Center will sponsor this event.

The ALTUS program began in 1994 and is comprised of two high altitude unmanned aircraft systems. ALTUS I is managed by the Naval Postgraduate School and was recently on display during the "Year of the Oceans" Conference held in Monterey earlier this month. This vehicle has been equipped with a single turbo charged engine and can reach altitudes of 45,000 feet.

Future plans for the ALTUS program are to use the high altitude capabilities to further atmospheric research and to understand the genesis of and predict hurricane paths and damage potential as well as many other advanced scientific applications.

Founded in 1993, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) has led the unmanned aircraft surveillance industry to new levels of performance, reliability and operational capability. Thomas J. Cassidy is President and Chief Executive Officer.

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For all inquiries, contact Cyndi Wegerbauer at 619-455-4247, 619-455-4247 FX or wegerb@gat.com


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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).